[The Audiofiles] The Lucent Dossier Experience ‘Lights the World’

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Last weekend, I was both thrilled and honored to cover the Los Angeles based avant-garde performance troupe, and all around fun-makers the Lucent Dossier Experiencence. The brain child of Dream Rockwell, the effervescent and enigmatic leader and co founder of The Do Lab, Lucent Dossier has found it’s way into the hearts and homes of underground music lovers nationwide.

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Known for their fusion of Middle Eastern influenced Dubstep beats and emotive soundscapes married with aerial acrobatics, social commentary on our technologically driven society, live music paired with body contortionists and fire dancing – LDE fully immerses their audience within their unique environment and refuses to relinquish their hold until the 2am call time hits. Both before and after the show, the group was scattered about the famed Club Nokia as concertgoers mingled to the music of The Human Experience, an emotive musical journey from local Angelino David Block, pre show; including the debut of a brand new project with Haley Reinhart. Once Lucent was over, Nico Luminous was brought on stage to party with patrons and troupe members alike until the early morning hours.

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Drawing well deserved parallels to the famed Canadian ensemble Cirque du Soleil, the latest Lucent Dossier Experience endeavor ‘Light the World’ pushes the boundaries of performance art; eagerly asking it’s audience what emboldens them and makes them come alive. How do we choose to illuminate our lives? And the answer is to take a token from the troupe itself – embrace your individual beauty and let your love shine through, because what the world needs are passionate people that come alive.

“I come from the heavens
Stardust soaking up space
Regardless of gravity
Energy pulling on energy
With empathy.

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I am made of love
Particles of me wanting to come together
Fighting daily
with the honorable longing to expand
by splitting each other
& ironically that’s what it humanly feels to love another.

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I am made of epic conflicts
Chemistry acting to react
To produce feelings
So that kissing becomes melting galaxies
I am a woman & for me kissing
Is made of secrets
Secrets I must hold trapped in my tower
to hide the invincible pool of my power
But tonight, right now, right this perpetually propelling forward moment
So precious & so unique in its mystique of being ever passing..

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Tonight I shift & you will lead me
Tonight I celebrate me
Calling upon the Athenas, the Minervas, all you goddess warriors
Walking upon this earth
I wish to rest with Aphrodite
I will choose to resurrect with kali

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I will take the shape of mother earth
& give birth with every single one of you
to the glow that will glue us all
into one bright lite
soft skinned & tainted eyes
in one night I will live a thousand lives
I will listen to the echo of your dreams
I’ll sing through woven threads of connection
& I will wear your sorrow & your bliss

 

 

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& you will wear mine in return
I will burn my karma
Dharma transcending
Understanding the meaning of being
A woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a lover.
I will let man hold my hand in teaching
Following devoted the perfection of the reflection
Permeated in their offering
Man, panning blindly across my softening


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Guide me through
Wake me & I’ll rise from the root of you
To color your leaves with sunset”
– Llinda Borini for Lucent Dossier’

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For more information on Lucent Dossier or Dream Rockwell, try their socials: The DJ List | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photography by Daniel Leist
Full album on our Facebook page

 

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[Oh, Snap!] Zion So Nice, We Visited Thrice – And Bits of Colorado and Bryce

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On the way back home from Colorado we made an executive decision to not just visit the park at Zion one more time – but to get some double duty in by visiting at dusk and during the day, all the while galavanting through places Black Dragon Canyon, Red Canyon, Dixie National Park and Bryce Canyon while checking them off of our bucket list.

Before we left for Utah and Red Rocks, we went on a itty bitty adventure to Best Buy where I finally made the perfect purchase of a lifetime: a Canon 6D with a started lens, a 50mm f/1.4 (and yes, I’m in lust!!). I still need to get a wide angle lens to round out the camera package but holy hell, can this thing get those fantastic shots I’ve always wanted! The color, the depth, the timing (and OMG, the lasers at concerts!) – this camera turns every shot into verifiable gold. So, on the last leg of our journey we busted it out and much to our chagrin we captured some of the best nature photos that I’ve ever been part of. From the stars of Zion at night to the beauty of the Checkerboard Mesa during the day, I was swept up in Wanderlust from the second we left California and honestly – was slightly sad to return.

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Colorado was equally extravagant with her lush rivers and winding roads. Driving along the Colorado River was a fantastic addition to an already amazing adventure and seeing the water diverge in the continental divide was beyond trippy.

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Once we got to Utah, we couldn’t help but take advantage of the frequent Rest Stops and turn outs along the way. Starting with Black Dragon Canyon, we were in awe of the sweeping sand dunes topped by obsidian looking stones.

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Cruising back closer through Zion, we roamed near Red Canyon and decided immediately that it was our favorite spot in the whole national park.

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As the sun went down, we got to know the winding roads and breathtaking views of Bryce Canyon – and pictures barely do it justice. Last, but certainly not least – we doubled by Zion at night and I saw – not just stars – but galaxy clouds, I danced underneath beating bat wings and stood, silently, stunned by the wonder of our world.

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The next morning, we took one last ride through Zion – comparing and contrasting the sweeping daytime scenery with our limited night vision. Forever thankful for the opportunity, we did one last circle around the park and picked up a few gems and minerals to remember the trip by. Also, apparently I have a new obsession now lol. This journey was my first formidable road trip – and is the perfect stepping stone for our trip to Salmo, BC next week for Shambhala Music Festival. Until then, I’m fine living on a pixelated diet of nature pictures and images of the wonder of our world.

I’m always looking for new adventures and ideas, so tell me – what’s your favorite road trip, or national park – and when do you plan to return?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The Audiofiles] Global Dance Festival: Red Rocking To The Beat

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Cross Published in The DJ List 

Photography by Daniel Leist

In my nearly decade long career as a festival fanatic and self professed music maven, I’ve galavanted through Warped Tour numerous times, I’ve frolicked through Insomniac and HARD’s famed Music Festivals, shows from The Do Lab, and assorted events thrown around Southern California by LoveFest and GoVentures back when they were still an enterprise.  But, as I descended upon Red Rocks in all of her glory, I was simultaneously awe-struck and anxious to finally check a new ‘first’ off of my musical bucket list.  Now in it’s triumphant 13th year, Global Dance Festival at the Red Rocks Amphitheater marked my first out-of-California Music Festival, not to mention – my first, and most definitely not my last, trip out to Red Rocks.  Dating back to the Jurassic period over 160 Million years ago, the natural amphitheater was formed by fusing together by enormous naturally sloping rock monoliths that contain the fossils of ancient animals like sea serpents and flying reptiles.  And within it’s walls are an audiophile’s wet dream – an acoustically excellent arena, apropos to appreciate astounding live musical performances.

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Being an all ages show, there’s a good chance that the younger members of GDF hadn’t fully seeped themselves in the rich history of the arena; but regardless of their perspective, artists, performers and media crew alike were all humbled that they were standing on the shoulders of giants and they performed as if they were all collectively paying homage to their predecessors. From iconic names like Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Santana and The Grateful Dead to more modern phenomenons like Incubus, No Doubt, Atmosphere, 311 and Nas – the majestic, though static, physical landscape of Red Rocks has been in perpetual dichotomy with the ever evolving musical landscape of the Amphitheater. Now, almost 70 years after the venue reopened in 1947, Red Rocks has become home base for some of the biggest, brightest and boldest acts in Bass Music thanks to the team at Global Dance. Throughout the weekend, rising stars like Norin & Rad and Odesza pulled an unprecedented proportion of the festival population to the stage at the top of Red Rocks while massive acts like Andy C, Infected Mushroom, Madeon and Zedd mesmerized the crowd, reminding fans – new and old- precisely why they fell in love with their music in the first place.

FINAL THE DJ LISTTOP5IMG_0282GDE_DJLFINALFrom early Friday afternoon solidly through Sunday evening, EDM enthusiasts across the Midwest flocked to Red Rocks for three nights of musical mayhem.  As we settled into one of the parking lots surrounding the amphitheater, my eyes were immediately drawn to the vast array of license plates:  from Wyoming to Montana, Idaho to Utah –  patrons flocked to the festival from all around the greater Mid West and one thing was made absolute clear – we definitely weren’t in Kansas anymore.  Gushing with exuberance, festival attendants trickled through the gates and were welcomed with open arms by brightly costumed friends, tailgating with boisterous music and infectious smiles.  Whichever way your taste in music sways, Global Dance Festival had something for everyone. Spanning the genres from Dubstep to Drum and Bass, Trance to Electro House…and whatever you’d classify Destroid as – the evenings were peppered with an eclectic variety of talent on three separate stages: the EDM.com Amphitheater – the Main Stage, the NRG Stage at the top of Red Rocks and the GlobalDanceMusic.Com Stage plush on the opposite side of the venue. Differences aside, each act cranked up the bass and begged you to do one simple thing: dance.

Road tripping from Los Angeles out to Red Rocks had it’s perks- like exploring Zion and Bryce Canyons in Utah and various turnouts along the Colorado River; but there was one minor drawback: we didn’t step foot inside the festival gates until the sun went down Friday evening. But the important thing was that we’d made the 1,000 mile road trip from our front door to Red Rocks and we couldn’t wait to see what was in store for is.Starting with the second we stepped inside Friday afternoon, Kygo played us in and then Bro Safari – the Dubstep side project of Evol Intent’s Nick Weiller – unleashed a bass fueled beast on the Main Stage that raged into the midnight hours.  Infected Mushroom followed with a fantastic, high octane live set that effortlessly transported me to a Rock and Roll show.  As the band tore through powerful renditions of fan favorites like ‘Cities of the Future’ and ‘Becoming Insane’, they gave Red Rocks one of the best live performances of the entire weekend – including an epic cover of ‘Sabotage’ from the Beastie Boys [[insert video link]].  Up next was a choice between entering #ASOC with none other than Carnage, or trekking up to the NRG stage to watch Norin & Rad kick things up a notch.  We made the journey, and it was well worth the miniature workout – from start to finish, the two California natives raised the bar for Global Dance Festival by delivering track after massive track, juggling between Electro House and darker basslines for an hour long non-stop dance party. ((Norin & Rad Image)) Kastle closed the night strong with groovy, emotive tunes on the NRG stage, but it proved no match for Adventure Club’s Electro infused Dubstep journey that left the entire crowd begging the Canadian duo for more. The group brought out the OG Chipotle Gang member Carnage and blasted through their set, fusing favorites and original tracks like ‘Need Your Heart’ and ‘Gold’ alongside tried and true remixes.

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The next day proved a chance to start fresh, and let me tell you – there’s nothing that compares to simultaneously enjoying the natural wonder of Red Rocks, with the Denver skyline in a distance, while dancing up a storm to some of your favorite artists. For me, Saturday was the best day musically at GDF and I was exited to get there early and dive right in. After making friends in the parking lot, we walked into the festival as local artist Ecotek set the tone for the day on the main stage. Next up was a personal highlight of the weekend – Borgeous; admittedly, though I’d heard of him before the weekend – I’d never listened to him – and hearing him live for the first time made me stop in my tracks and look at my schedule again.  Somewhere between the beautiful and effortlessly bouncing beats, the well timed song syncing and enigmatic stage presence, I’d been won over and converted into a new fangled fanatic.

A difficult act to follow, sure – but leave it up to OWSLA phenom and Skrillex protege Alvin Risk to do the job; from start to finish, we were engaged and energized by his heavy Dubstep sounds – the only thing we could’ve wanted from him was more.  Masterfully mixing – and singing – for his audience, Alvin Risk put on a phenomenal performance and was definitely a highlight of my weekend.

The only thing that could possibly top an act like that would be some serious bass music, and that’s exactly what Andy C and Armanni Reign delivered.  Though it’s unfair to pick a favorite with so much excellent music, Andy C’s set was it – he proved to the Mid West that not only is Drum and Bass alive and well, it’s a powerful, moving, emotive, dirty experience that will rattle you to your core and possess you to dance like you’ve never moved before.  The only MC that I can’t get enough of, Armanni Reign spat verbal venom as the legendary Andy C gave us a lesson on everything Drum and Bass – from Jungle to Industrial to Liquid, we all walked away with a better understanding of why Andy C is revered as the king of his genre.

After handing over the reigns to Showtek, the main stage went down a thumping Hardstyle journey of a Rabbit Hole, only to come out of the other side to Waka Flocka Flame and the aptly titled Destroid living up to their moniker; entertaining, yes – but I’m honestly still trying to figure out what happened. If my gold medal of the weekend went to Andy C and Armanni, my silver medal goes out to Seattle natives Odesza.  If I thought the NRG Stage was packed for Norin & Rad, then we were definitely over capacity when Odesza took the stage – between their presence, including their funky dance moves, and a well manicured, expertly produced live set – they  not only wowed crowd, but they made us all wish we’d gotten to see them on the main stage.  Knowing the way Global Dance Festival has operated in the past, they could well be on their way next year.  GDF loves repeat offenders and has even noticed that their side stage has a slight tinge of special stardom attached.  In the past, artists like Krewella have skyrocketed their careers after gracing the stage – and we’re sure that with Odesza it won’t be much different.

Sundays slight threat of rain barely dampened the mood as the final day of the festival set in.  From start to finish, the GDF was exactly where you wanted to be.  As we galavanted through the gates on our last visit to Red Rocks, I discovered yet another fabulous new artists in Tchami – I still might not know how to pronounce your name (sorry!), but man – when that remix of AlunaGeorge’s ‘I Know You Like It’ came on I danced in the rain like I didn’t have a care in the world.  As the sun went down, Madeon stepped it up in another one of my favorite sets of the weekend and hands down my favorite set of the day.  The lightning provided a dramatic backdrop for the delectable Electro House beats as the youthful producer sifted between original productions party tracks like ‘Get Low and a sexy Wave Racer remix of Panama’s ‘Always’ , a personal favorite.  For a full hour, the audience was perpetually swept up by his eccentric style and I was doubly reminded why he’s one of my favorite producers in his genre.

Penultimate on the main stage was Wolfgang Gartner  – who took us through on an adventure through his discography, blasting hits like ‘Space Junk’ and ‘Ill-Merica’ while flowing through Hip Hop, Tech House and Electro House – all the while, reminding the audience why he’s one of the best in the business. Last but certainly not least, there’s no better way to round out the weekend than Zedd; for an hour and a half, he did double duty dancing and delivering hits like his funky remix of ‘Breaking a Sweat’, and originals like ‘Stay the Night’, ‘Clarity’ and ‘Spectrum’ as the audience danced the night away.

Global Dance Festival has always done a first class job of encompassing the current state of the EDM industry, much like a snapshot of sound or a time capsule of cacophony. As if in an echo of the rest of the Electronic Music Scene, the showcase this weekend seemed to be on the infamous bass drop and with epic and entertaining acts from left to right like Carnage, Destroid, ______ – who can really blame anyone for loving it?  We’re simply stoked that artists like Odesza, Kastle, Borgeous and Andy C brought their A-games this weekend in a true display of musicianship and entertainment.  It was utterly evident that the artists were playing for more than just their audience – they were paying homage to the greats that had come before them, a tribute to the musical influences that propelled them to the very stage they graced over the weekend.

Another point the festival drove home, is that there’s a thin line between ‘Bass Music’ as Armanni Reign calls it and more or less ‘Rage Music.’  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for danceable dissonance  and if there was a time and place for it, Global Dance Festival is it but my personal preference would be to see emotive acts like Above & Beyond, or smaller Anjunabeats acts return, alongside a healthy dose of ethereal Trance that I was definitely missing all weekend. With such an iconic venue and breathtaking environment, we’re eager to see what happens next at Red Rocks. Next Thursday, Gary Richards returns to Red Rocks as Destructo as HARD goes HAM at the rocks – but hopefully with events to come, transformational festivals will find a mainstay at the rocks as well – because with a venue like that, there’s more than enough good music to go around.




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By the end of Sunday night, we felt we’d earned our stripes, or wings – or whatever first timers are graced with whenever they’re elected to cover an event at Red Rocks.  For three solid days, we grinned and galavanted our way through the crowd to get the necessary shots – only to find at the end of the weekend that there’s an iconic tunnel that reaches from the Press area to the stage.  And iconic doesn’t even begin to describe it – everyone, and I mean – everyone – that’s played Red Rocks has left their mark, or marks, on the hallway.  We went from  standing on the shoulders of giants, to being encapsulated by their essence.  For a good ten minutes, Danny and I stood in awe – gawking at each other as we read off names STS9 to Shpongle, Thriftworks to Len _____ – we were, and still are, beyond grateful for the entirety of our experience.

 

For our full Facebook album, head to our Facebook page here.

For more information on Global Dance Festival, check out their social media links: Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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[Happy Caturday!]

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It’s hard to believe that just a week ago I was in Colorado for Global Dance Festival – let alone galavanting through the beautiful, hot and spacious states, of Utah and Nevada.

Usually, I find myself cranking out at least 500 words a day but between catching up on my 8-5 at Disney, and catching up on some must needed rest I’ve fallen short of my weekly goal. Well, at least until yesterday when I really sat myself down to pen my first phone interview – with none other than Gary Richards, the CEO of HARD. So far, that’s two interviews I’m incredibly proud of – between Gary and Dream Rockwell of Lucent Dossier and Do Lab notoriety, I’ve basically talked with people that I not only revere as individuals but business savvy people that I truly look up to in this fast paced, ever changing industry.

Well; now that I’m don’t rambling a bit – cats!

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[The Audiofiles] Go HARD or Go Home: Gary Richards and the Evolution of His EDM Empire

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- Cross Published on The DJ List -

As a innovator and pioneer of the dance music scene in Los Angeles, Gary Richards has forged an empire of sound out of a simple mind state: just play good music. Internationally recognized as Destructo and the head honcho behind HARD, Richards had humble beginnings as a club promoter and warehouse DJ  in perpetual search of the perfect party location.  His first two ventures  – Magical Mickey’s Holy Water Adventure in ’91 and Ravemerica in ’92- were held at Wild Rivers Water Park and Knott’s Berry Farm and spoke volumes to his creative capabilities; not to mention, they’re something his current fanbase would most certainly welcome back with open arms. ‘The Sermon’, his first real parties series, was perfectly timed to open at 6am and boasted Richards on the decks as Destructo donning a priests costume as an extended family of friends rallied around as the sun came up.  As a local Angelino with almost 15 years in the industry, he proceed to throw parties at literally every venue in town – from the Roxy to the Viper Room, The Standard to the Fonda (formerly the Music Box) and The Shrine to his personal favorite The Palladium. In 2011, he was sought out by Trent Reznor to promote the American release of ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ at his Mouth Taped Shut Parties and he’s even forayed into the silverscreen as the Music Supervisor for the 2001 flick 15 minutes; though it’s not likely he’ll be back again.

“I just do what I like to do, I dont do test stuff with audiences; I just kinda go ‘Hey, let’s do this!’ The thing with Trent was way different, he personally asked me to help promote the parties – but movies, I’m good with what I’m doing right now”

As I sit silently grinning on my cell phone, a gregarious Richards sits on the other end; and as he delves into the details on his new Album, it’s easy for me to forget that the musical tastemaker and global jet-setter had literally just walked in the door from LAX. For the last few days, he’s been in Europe as part of The West Coast EP World Tour in promotion of his latest album dropping later this year. For the past few months, he’s been deep in the studio curating his signature G-House sound for ‘The West Coast’ EP and his latest single ‘Party Up’ featuring YG, one of the first releases on Insomniac’s new label.

As a DJ I always try to find something new – that’s the point of being a DJ, playing something new. I heard some stuff incorporating hip-hop into house and wanted to do a whole set, but there just wasn’t enough material.  So I went into the studio with intentions and sampled some stuff from Dr. Dre.,” explains Richards, ” I thought it’s cool – but I thought it’d probably just be better to get a real rapper instead of sampling.  I hooked up with YG before and it worked out real well, and he introduced me to other artists – and not only are the songs cool, but it’s fun.  What I do, it’s computer, programming, synthesizers – so to have someone come in as professional lyricist, or someone to who really sing and put it over all that – it’s like discovering a new planet; it adds so much more to the music, it’s exciting.

Though we can’t tell you who else he’s collaborating with, we can  tell you that he’s excited. For an artist who draws inspiration from personal favorites like Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, NWA and Dr.Dre – this album is set to be a Pandora’s box full of eclectic earcandy and creative collaborations.

From promoter to producer, father and husband, artist to audience – Richards is more or less a modern day Renaissance man. Hand picked by Rick Rubin to handle A&R for the Electronic Music division Def American Recordings, Richards was responsible for bringing in the electronic rock sound of Prodigy, Lords of Acid and XL Recordings.  As he catapulted throughout the industry, Richards forayed back to DJing and Producing when he realized that what people were really craving was the live experience.

On New Years Eve ’07,  Richards threw a the party of a lifetime – and by in just 7 years, the HARD  franchise has catapulted from a one night stand into an international empire with events spanning from North America and into England and Australia, curated stages at festivals like ULTRA and EDC,  and last but certainly not least, the cruise everyone craves: Holy Ship! Since it’s inception, the HARD brand has forever been at the crux of music festivals – offering up something a little darker and outside the norm of a more ‘mainstream’ event, and has  become synonymous with exceptional live performances from some of the most talented, multifaceted artists across the board.  Though they might differ in terms of styles and traditional ‘genres’ – they all do have one thing in common: they play good music.  Through the pursuit of exceptional artists and his annual US tours, Destructo has catapulted the careers of artists, peers and friends like the Dub Police, Boys Noize, Wolfgang Gartner, Rusko, Crystal Castles, the Bloody Beetroots,  and is responsible for bringing the awe-inspiring South African group Die Antrword to Los Angeles.

I just like good music.  It’s just about dancing and having a good time – but I always try to pepper something in with an edge.”  Take one gander at his lineups over the last seven years and you’ll find yourself wondering whether you’ve stumbled into an EDM Festival or a Rock Show – but according to Richards, that’s the point.  “HARD is like a salad – artists like Bootsy Collins, Bootsy Collins, Giorgio Mororer, Miike Snow; they keep it fresh.

Every brand has growing pains as they reach their pinnacle, and HARD is no different; take the most recent HARD Hollywood Bowl date featuring the legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic, Giorgio Moroder for example. “Sometimes when you try new things, they don’t always work – I got ahead of myself” lamented Richards, ‘We will definitely be having them for a show because they deserve the notoriety.” The main difference between some brands and this brand – perseverance. Minor setbacks aside, HARD has blossomed into a household musical name, hosting shows from LA to Miami and New York City to Colorado.

Next Thursday,  HARD’s ruckus returns to Red Rocks with Knife Party, Dillon Francis, Samo Sound Boy and Julio Bashmore and Richards couldn’t be more excited -

Red Rocks – favorite venues anywhere period.  I remember the U2 album ‘Blood Red Sky’  from when I was a little kid.  It was recorded there live. They sold out that place, and to now sell out that place with house music; I’m humbled.  And the people of Colorado are fucking awesome – they know their music!

The day after Red Rocks, he’ll rush back to Los Angeles for the 7th anniversary of HARD Summer. With LA’s Historic Park under construction – the event has migrated to the Whitter Recreation area, about an hour away from the heart of Los Angeles.  From Beyond location, fans should note some fantastic changes coming their way:

“It’s a much larger park so we have more room…and we have grass! We added a fifth stage – so just expanding and making it into a more proper festival.”

Representing each and every genre, HARD’s lineup boasts a menagerie of musicians – the HARD and HARDER stage featuring the ‘biggest acts’ and the Green, Pink and Purple tents speaking to specific sounds, according to Richards – he’s basically DJing the DJs.   On Saturday, the Pink Stage hosts the Dirtybird Crew with Worthy, J.Phlip and Justin Martin and  Sunday will showcase the G-House on Green Stage as Destructo joins Tech House phenoms Brodinski, Sharam Jey, Kill Frenzy, DJ Mustard and favorites Hannah Wants, Bones, Vanilla Ace and production partner Wax Motif.  “We all go together like butter; it’s 10 artists vibing out to the same beat.”

If we’re going to talk about every genre, we have to mention the Trance elephant in the room – Tiesto.  Though Richards admits he’d never host a whole stage, if there’s one or two guys in the Trance scene that are habitually turning it out (we’re looking at you, Anjunabeats) – they’ll be there.

Originally introduced through Zedd to, Tiesto was in talks to come to Holy Ship 2013. Though that fell through, his agent reached out to Richards again this year and after paying his own way to the cruise – Tiesto got to pull surprise of a lifetime as Zedd introduced him as the guest act of the weekend.  And after playing a late night back to back deep house set in the disco of Holy Ship!, Richards was taken back by Tiesto’s skill and sold on his abilities to bring something new and different to HARD,.

“It seems like the perfect thing.  People are excited to see him, and I’m stoked because he gets to play what he wants.  He’s an awesome fucking DJ. It’s weird when you say the word trance because what I think of trance and what you think on trance is different. When I started DJing, Trance was synthesizer, arpegiated, super deep long, electronic, synth-ed out really cool shit – and somehow it turned into vocal pop music. What happens a lot with these guys is they have to live up to their name, they have to live up to what fans think of them. But they want to do different stuff too, they don’t always want to do the same thing.”

Between developing the HARD brand and his perpetual push to fill the world with good music, Richards has built more than an empire of music -in a true reflection of our cultural melting pot, he’s assembled a brazen community of international music lovers, simply begging the world for more good music.  Catch Richards as Destructo next Thursday at Red Rocks, then Sunday 8/1 at HARD Summer on the Green Stage.

Keep up with Gary Richards through his socials – The DJ List | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

HARD SUMMER FULL LINE UP

 

[Oh, Snap!] To Zion and Beyond

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Last Thursday, my boyfriend and I started on one of the most epic adventures I’ve ever been on – road tripping from Los Angeles, through Las Vegas, dashing through Arizona and then into St. George, Utah – a quiet little town near the border where we took refuge for the night. In the morning, we rose with the sun and galavanted our way through Zion National Park. To be honest, I was almost okay missing the first day of Global Dance Fest so we could relax and explore – but, hey – always another time, right?

After Zion, we passed through Bryce and then zipped and zoomed through Utah as fast as we possibly could. Don’t get me wrong now – its a lovely state…to pass through. By late afternoon we’d made it to the continental divide and Grand Junction, and by early evening we arrived at our AirBnB then it was off to the races for Global Dance Fest at Red Rocks! This marks my first time here and I’m in absolute awe of all the natural beauty I’ve witnessed in the last 96 hours. Today’s our final full day in town so we took full advantage of the morning – going into town, picking up brunch, enjoying some refreshments by the Creek. And now, we wait patiently for the third and final day of GDE; I can’t wait to dish about the festival but that can wait til it’s over. Until then, here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip so far!

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Now that Ive had a taste for the open road, historic parks and epic views of nature I’m already planning another trip – the only question is: where to??! What’s the last roadtrip you went on? Or, what’s next on your bucket list?

Ps. I couldn’t leave you hanging, here’s a quick sneak peak of the magic

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[Roadtrippin'] The Road to Red Rocks

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As the Super Moon rose through swaying palm trees, I perched on the love-seat in our kitchen – breathing in new opportunities and breathing out dissuaded anxieties with every beat of my heart. Silence ebbed and flowed through the room, engulfing it one minute – then a cackling laughter would chase it away.  My mind raced in circles as my fingers traced a path on the top of my phone. 20140716-143948-52788229.jpgThere are exactly 1,000 miles from my doorstep to Red Rocks Amphitheater out in Morrison, Colorado; 1,000 miles between my bedroom and my first music festival outside of California.  And it couldn’t come at a better time.  For the majority of this calendar year, I’ve been at a mental and emotional crossroads; I’ve been made incredibly aware of my aptitudes as well as my downfalls, and through hard work and dedication – I’ve built an incredibly succinct vision of what I’d like to do with my life.  Between my craft (writing) and my crafts (and arts), I need a jumping point to get me to the next level and attending the 16th anniversary of Global Dance is just that.

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Zion National Park, Utah

For all the festivals franchises I’ve been to – HARD Presents, Insomniac Events, Go Ventures – I’m still a novice as far as the Global Dance events are concerned; and to cover the event on top of it? If there was a word that summarized – honored, thrilled, anxious, flabbergasted, stressed – the whole kit and kaboodle.

What’s more, is that my best friend – boyfriend – Danny – my partner in crime – photographer – whatever you want to call him, he’s coming with me and we’re making a huge road trip of the event.  Last weekend we celebrated one year of loving each other and what better way to celebrate than gallivanting through Zion and Red Rocks!  Back when I was in college, I spent a little bit of time in Breckenridge – but that was during the winter and under starkly different conditions!  Instead of flying in between two monstrously large blizzards, we’ll be driving from LA through St.George, Utah where we’ll be able to rest our bones for a bit before we bounce to Zion National Park! I’ve heard so many fantastic things about it but to be able to see it physically with my own eyes, I can’t properly express how monumental this is for me – for us, really.

Then – it’s off to Morrison for Global Dance! Thanks to some quick thinking and good luck with Air BnB – I found an exceptionally fantastic place within close proximity – and for only $40 it’s a certifiable steal (Like, seriously – if you’re ever going to Red Rocks let me know and I’ll give you this guy’s information!)  For all the research I’d done on GDE, I don’t know how it escaped me that there’d be more than one stage (I mean, duh; how many festivals are just one stage anymore….) – but I was truly hoping that with Red Rocks as a backdrop that it would more or less work out that way.  Anyhow, now I have to navigate through time conflicts and hold DJ death matches in my head to plot the best plan of attack.

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This is the reason I’m so willing to put up with my normal 8-5; this is why I’m so dedicated to working day in and day out on my craft.  It’s big moments like these that pave the way for monumental events to happen – and I’m so excited to share my journeys!  Now, before I get back to being a glorified excel monkey – let me leave you with some of my favorite songs from the GDE: Red Rocks arsenal – enjoy!